Saturday, January 29, 2011

Designers Don't Do Bellies

The scene: Interior Design Show 2011
The location: Toronto, ON

When I read the article in the Toronto Star billing the opening night party as the "hottest" event in Toronto, I knew I was in trouble. Granted it was on a trade show floor in the middle of the city's financial district; sure, it was Thursday and no truly "hot" event takes place on a Thursday; and did I mention it took place on a trade show floor? Anyway, I knew I was in for an interesting evening before I even stepped into the hall.

It'd already been a long day by the time we arrived - around 8 p.m. I'd taken a 7:30 a.m. flight that morning, traveled out to a job site and karate chopped through a dozed emails, so needless to say when I began sipping that cran & 7, I could have easily sucked down a bottle of vodka.

At the base of the escalator, a line wrapped around the 1st level floor, closely resembling nightmarish scenes from the airport during the holidays. Except the people in this queue were donned in crisp Italian shirts, thigh-high boots and mini skirts rather than bulky winter wear.

"Oh my GOD!" said a guy in a striped pink and purple shirt to his scantily clad female counterpart. "Can you even BELIEVE Marco wore that vest again this year?"

We managed to circumvent any further painful conversations in the line and found an alternative entrance into the techno-pumping party. Passing countless flutes of champagne, stations serving raw oysters and more thick-framed eye glasses than I could count, we finally made our way to the booth. The fancy booth that one second place for superior design. At the trade show. Don't forget, it is a TRADE SHOW.

The minute I shed my protective garb, it began. I could just hear Tim Gund shouting "designers" in the back of my head as I watched the eyes start at eye level and work their way down. When their eyes once again met mine, it wasn't the warm, generous smile you normally receive from strangers, but more of a faint wince. Some might as well have been shouting "breeder!" Others clearly disappointed by my comfortable shoe selection for the evening, and a fist punch to the few random mothers who gave that reassuring nod as they passed.

Remember you pretentious a*holes, you're at a TRADE SHOW. Anyway, the evening passed quickly and I was fortunate enough to only have to spend a few hours the next day on my feet at the show. I love my clients, I love Toronto and it was LAST work trip (via airplane) so all in all, it was a great experience. Plus, I found a new lamp for BG's room! :) HA!

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